Gaia (pronounced Yeah-Ah) started in 1994 by two friends, Agronomist Leon Karatsalos and eonologist Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, with a small vineyard on the Island of Santorini. The vineyards of Santorini grow the native grape Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is perhaps the only Mediterranean grape variety to flourish under such difficult climatic conditions. From poor, porous soil formed by volcanic activity and composed largely of pumice, Assyrtiko produces wines with a relatively high acidity. The Gai’a vineyards, located on the Southeastern slopes of Episkopi, Akrotiri and Pyrgos regions, are composed entirely of 70-80 year old, ungrafted vines with a dramatically low yield. It is an anomaly in today’s technologically advanced world and a wine that is well worth preserving and treasuring. In 1996, Leon and Yiannis purchased a fully functioning winery with vineyards in Nemea, just outside Athens. Here they grow the red grape Agiorgitiko (ah your YEE TEE ko), which we believe is a fabulous grape. Agiorgitiko can be produced in a range of styles, from fruity rosé and fresh light-bodied red that is best served slightly chilled to a full-bodied red that responds well to oak aging and can cellar and improve for many years. In many ways, Agiorgitko is Greece’s Nebbiolo. Gai’a produces a broad range of extremely high quality wines in a range of styles. Robert Parker describes them as “one of Greece’s finest wineries, making steely Santorini whites and Agiorgitiko that is among Greece’s best.” Wine & Spirits Winery of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2010!
Agiorgitiko (ah-your-YEE-TEE-ko) is Greece’s most important red varietal, and at its best on the elevated hillside vineyards of Koutsi in the Appellation of Nemea (Peloponnese, Greece). Greece is often perceived as a hot nation, most capable of producing white wines on many of its idyllic islands. But in fact, much of the country is mountainous and in many parts of Greece the climate is continental, with hot summers and cold, even snowy, winters. Nemea, given its elevation, is such a place.
This unique wine is produced on the island of Santorini. The vines are planted on a 15-degree slope facing East and Southeast on transferred pumice stone soil. The wine is made from the Assyrtiko grape and is light and aromatic. Only free run must is used, which is then fermented for approximately days at 15C. The resulting wine is almost white in color, bone-dry, with strong character, eliciting considerable structure, with crisp acidity, distinctive minerality and delicate honeysuckle aromas.
The grapes for the Monograph Assyrtiko come from vineyards located in the semi-mountainous Koutsi region of Nemea. Unlike the bone-dry, volcanic soils of its native Santorini, the calcareous soils of mainland Greece impart an entirely different character to the varietal, giving it a wider range of exotic fruit flavors and aromas. This is a youthful, intensely fruity Assyrtiko, with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus fruit and a refreshing acidity on the palate.
Made from Agiorgitiko from the Nemea region. There are three levels of this grape in the Gaia range and this is their easy drinking / entry level version. A soft fruity wine that has lots of plum flavours with violet, and almost musky, lift to it. Nice and very easy to drink.